(Bloomberg) -- Big C Supercenter Pcl has picked Bank of America Corp. and UBS Group AG to help with a Bangkok initial public offering of about $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The supermarket and convenience store company, owned by Thailand’s richest person, has also chosen four local banks for the potential first-time share sale, the people said. The IPO could happen as soon as this year, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

The Bangkok-based unit of Berli Jucker Pcl, a conglomerate owned by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, had sounded out investment banks for proposals for the offering, Bloomberg News reported in November. 

The bank lineup was first reported by IFR. Deliberations are ongoing and details of the IPO including size, timing and bank lineup could still change, the people said. Representatives for Bank of America, Berli Jucker and UBS didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

At $1 billion, Big C’s planned offering would be Thailand’s biggest since Thai Life Insurance Pcl raised $1.02 billion in a July listing, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The deal would also boost the Southeast Asian nation’s IPO market, which hosted $4.1 billion of deals last year, roughly flat compared to 2021.

Founded by Thailand’s Central Group in 1993, Big C was listed on the Bangkok stock exchange in 2012 and taken private in 2017 by Sirivadhanabhakdi’s Berli Jucker. He has a net worth of $16.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Big C operates 1,819 stores including convenience stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia as end of September, according to Berli Jucker’s latest investor presentation. In August, Big C launched an official storefront and digital shopping cart on the Line social media app for all its hypermarkets and supermarkets.

--With assistance from Pei Li.

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